Flow simulation is a computational tool for exploring science and technology involving flow applications. It can provide cost-effective alternatives or complements to laboratory experiments, field tests and prototyping. Flow simulation relies heavily on high performance computing (HPC). We view HPC as having two major components. One is advanced algorithms capable of accurately simulating complex, real-world problems. The other is advanced computer hardware and networking with sufficient power, memory and bandwidth to execute those simulations. While HPC enables flow simulation, flow simulation motivates development of novel HPC techniques. This paper focuses on demonstrating that flow simulation has come a long way and is being applied to many complex, real-world problems in different fields of engineering and applied sciences, particularly in aerospace engineering and applied fluid mechanics. Flow simulation has come a long way because HPC has come a long way. This paper also provides a brief review of some of the recently-developed HPC methods and tools that has played a major role in bringing flow simulation where it is today. A number of 3D flow simulations are presented in this paper as examples of the level of computational capability reached with recent HPC methods and hardware. These examples are, flow around a fighter aircraft, flow around two trains passing in a tunnel, large ram-air parachutes, flow over hydraulic structures, contaminant dispersion in a model subway station, airflow past an automobile, multiple spheres falling in a liquid-filled tube, and dynamics of a paratrooper jumping from a cargo aircraft.
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